Japanese warships at Jebel Ali for exercises with UAE Navy
DUBAI // Two Japanese warships docked in the port of Jebel Ali in Dubai yesterday during maritime exercises with the UAE Navy.
The 140-metre minesweeper tender Bungo and the 60-metre minesweeper Yaeyama will take part in “goodwill training” with the UAE until tomorrow to improve maritime security.
“We stopped in Jebel Ali for supply, crew rest and to conduct the friendly exercise in Dubai for the next couple of days,” said Capt Keiji Yoshida, commander of Division 51.
“This goodwill training strengthens our relationship with the UAE and deepens interoperability between the UAE naval forces and the Japanese maritime self-defence force.”
The goal is to ensure the safety of sea lanes and communications.
Experts said the Japanese navy was recognised worldwide for its expertise in counter-piracy operations.
“They’ve been involved in such operations off the coast of Somalia,” said Dr Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at Risk Insurance Management in Dubai.
“This is part of the joint exercises that the UAE conducts with various navies to improve maritime domain awareness.”
Bungo has a crew of 183 and the Yaeyama has 53.
“It is the first time for such an exercise here in the UAE,” said Capt Yoshida.
“I command both ships and I hope this will be the first of many exercises here as it is important to ensure maritime security.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe last February in Tokyo to announce joint efforts in strengthening their partnership towards stability and prosperity.
At the time, Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Japan’s determination to contribute to peace and stability, including in the Middle East.
Both countries agreed to work together towards common goals, which include maritime security.
“We are going to Bahrain in two days and we will be in the Gulf waters for more training exercises for the next 20 days,” said Capt Yoshida. “The more the UAE participates in them, the better it is for the future of maritime security.”
The Japanese minesweepers will also take part in the third international mine countermeasures exercise in the waters of the Arabian Peninsula from October 27 to November 13.
Published: October 23, 2014 04:00 AM